Talk:Africa/Archive 2004-2012

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Did you download the ps versions of these maps? I'd like to see if they are outline maps so maybe I could improve on them visually a bit. -- (WT-en) Mark 13:56, 12 Sep 2004 (EDT)

I got them from (WT-en) Professorbiscuit 13:58, 12 Sep 2004 (EDT)
Yeah, that's what I meant. It says there that each map it generates comes with a PostScript version, which I'm hoping is a vector graphic. -- (WT-en) Mark 14:22, 12 Sep 2004 (EDT)

Country Removal[edit]

An anon user removed a bunch of countries. I can't figure out a legit reason for it, so I rolled it back. For a second I thought it might be a trim to remove some countries which are listed in subregion articles... but it was inexplicable to me that Niger, Nigeria, and South Africa were removed but smaller countries like Gabon and Rwanda were left in. -- (WT-en) Colin 18:46, 30 Jan 2006 (EST)


Huh? Is there a reason we don't have a cities list here? Or did we really just forget? --(WT-en) Peter Talk 20:06, 16 January 2008 (EST)

It's a continent, like Asia and North America. None of them have a city list --(WT-en) Nick 00:12, 17 January 2008 (EST)
No kidding, I'm surprised I didn't realize this earlier :) --(WT-en) Peter Talk 01:25, 17 January 2008 (EST)
Does not surprise me, it a common mistake that happens to the best of us from time to time; I think it's called the Miss Teen South Carolina syndrome. Does not matter how many atlases and maps there are on the planet, people in general seem to have a mental image of Africa as a small country. Tourists visit the Kruger National Park and think they have seen all that Africa has to offer, civil war breaks out in Rwanda and friends in Europe will urge me to flee Africa and move there, drought and famine occurs 7000km away in Ethiopia and people want to start sending me food packages. --(WT-en) Nick 02:22, 17 January 2008 (EST)

Rwanda & Burundi[edit]

I know this will require a bit of annoying tweaking of maps, but I really feel that these two should be included in East Africa, not Central Africa. I know they are both sometimes considered part of either one, but for the sake of the traveler, they will most certainly be visited as part of an East African itinerary rather than a central one. Any opposition? – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 06:28, 1 June 2009 (EDT)

I just noticed this, and I agree. They are also both culturally more similar to Kenyans and Tanzanians, as many/most of them speak Swahili. (WT-en) ChubbyWimbus 22 Dec 2009
I agree as well, for the reasons mentioned in the OP. They may speak French & be a bit tropical, but both are more connected to East Africa via trade, tourism, & politically than they are to Central Africa. And while we're discussing regions, I think Zambia should be a part of Southern Africa as the geography, accessibility, & democracy are in stark contrast to the jungles, difficulty of access, & dictatorships of Central Africa plus it has strong commerce ties with Southern Africa. I also feel East Africa is too large a region and should be broken up. I don't know much about Mozambique, but could it be moved to Southern Africa as well(?) or would it be better to break off Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia, & Ethiopia as a "Horn of Africa" region as they are much different from the other countries of East Africa. Madagascar, Mauritius, the Seychelles, & Comoros should definitely be removed from East Africa and put in their own region as they are even more distinct from the other East African countries...francophone tropical islands of mixed-race peoples with political and commercial ties to France versus the (mostly) English-speaking savannas of black people with political and commercial ties with other African countries and the UK. (WT-en) AHeneen 04:29, 22 December 2009 (EST)
I'll support moving Zambia, and Rwanda & Burundi, for the reasons above (although Rwanda & Burundi are more Central African in geography, and awfully wrapped up in east Congo politics. I'm less sure about the proposal to break up East Africa, and would want to see a more concrete proposal. I'll change the maps if we gain consensus for the changes. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 18:06, 22 December 2009 (EST)

Cities and Other Destinations[edit]

I now see that we have some :) Good stuff. My feelings are that we should not agonise too much over which make it to these lists but I am sure that:

  • we should not have two cities from the same country (so one of Cape town or Jo'burg goes)
  • and we surely can't have a redlinked destination here 'W' National Park!

And Ancient Egypt ought to be there - Valley of the Kings I suggest. --(WT-en) Burmesedays 03:33, 17 December 2009 (EST)

I was doing some other editing and you beat me to posting on the talk page. Africa is an area of interest to me, but as such a vast and little-visited continent as it is, it's hard to come up with a decent "other destinations" list. As you may have noticed, I went ahead and listed a couple of things as placeholders (to show what nine destinations looks like) and put "somewhere in Egypt?". I'm not an expert on that part of the continent and since it's frequently visited by tourists, I thought someone else on WT might have a good idea. Valley of the Kings sounds good to me...Memphis (Egypt) is also a possibility. Same thing with Axum/Lalibela...I would like to see an Ethiopian destination, but am not an expert on that area (come to think of it, I listed Addis Ababa in the cities, not sure if there should be 2 from Ethiopia)
'W' National Park is an article that I've wanted to add, but haven't had the time to create...I have a guide book (Bradt Guide to Niger) which has good coverage of it and I hope to get around to adding some quality info to it. It's the best West African other destination I could think has geography ranging from savannas to rainforest with plains and mountains situated on the mighty Niger River and home to a wide range of wildlife.
As far as CT and Jo-burg...they're probably both in the top 5 most visited African cities (in Asia, there's Hong Kong & Shanghai both in China) and I don't have a problem with them being there since the list as it is spans every region. It was hard to pick a destination for Central Africa (I feel Zambia ought to be moved to the Southern Africa region) and went with Luanda...a fascinating city if you have the time to read about/research it, but as far as tourists go, it has next to none (besides oil-relation business travellers).
The list isn't perfect and I have thought of a few issues since creating it(3 places in SA), but I'll await feedback. A few places I contemplated listing: Lagos (W.Africa's grimy mega-city, but has little of interest to travellers, mostly a travel hub and place for businessmen), Abidjan(but I think Accra is about as noteworthy a city and is much more popular with English-speaking travellers), Tunis/Tripoli (add a popular N. African destination, but Marrakech and Cairo are better to list), Kampala (more of a base to explore Uganda than a destination in and of itself), Kinshasa/Brazzaville (the largest Central African city, but VERY crime-ridden and far off the beaten path for tourists...Luanda seemed like a better destination), a south-central city but Victoria Falls is listed and CT and Joburg are far more popular and filled with more tourist attractions, a city on an island (Cape Verde, Canary Islands, Madagascar, Reunion) but no big city stood out. As for other destinations, a west African game park could be listed (Ngorongoro Conservation Area? Serengeti National Park?) instead of Mount Kilimanjaro, Carthage could replace Leptis Magna, Okavango Delta could replace Kruger National Park given there's already 2 cities in SA, Fish River Canyon Park (interesting place in Namibia, one of Cameroon's many NPs instead of 'W' NP, and (finally) is there anything worth mentioning on Madagascar(I feel bad leaving it out)? (WT-en) AHeneen 04:18, 17 December 2009 (EST)
I basically like the list of cities. I think there is a nice spread across the continent, and all of these are top African destination cities. If someone wanted to get rid of one, I guess I'd prefer to nix Johannesburg. It is one of the top destinations in Africa, but, to be fair, South African destinations in general are more visited than other areas, and Cape Town has a better reputation. Also, Kruger seems more important for the "Others", so if there is too much South Africa, I'd rather Johannesburg be the one to go. If we are looking for representation of each of our regions, Khartoum may be a good replacement.
I think on the other list, Kruger National Park, Victoria Falls, Serengeti National Park, and Mount Kilimanjaro stand out as definitely being deserving of spots. All of these are extremely famous worldwide. That does give Tanzania 2, but it has nothing from the cities, and it's one of the top countries (and safest) in Africa. If W National Park is odd, what about Timbuktu or Agadez? They are technically cities, but they kind of seem like "Other" sort of places. I do like the suggestion of Carthage, especially since Tunisia has no city listings.
Although I've never been to Africa, as someone who is interested, I think Aheneen did a good job with the lists. (WT-en) ChubbyWimbus 05:27, 17 December 2009 (EST)
Re-reading my initial post, it sounds a little brusque. Apologies for that and it was not intended that way. I was in between meetings and rushing a little. I have to agree with ChubbyWimbus - well done indeed AHeneen with this list. I like the Carthage suggestion and it is a lovely place to boot. For ancient Egypt I would look no further than Valley of the Kings. Some others from me:
  • If we want a real OtBP, leftfield and very unique OD - Skeleton Coast. But hardly anyone makes it there.
  • Zanzibar merits consideration as an OD. We are Tanzania-heavy already though.
  • Unfortunately our Madagascar OD's are non-existent. Some of the most unique and important conservation sites imaginable. --(WT-en) Burmesedays 05:44, 17 December 2009 (EST)
To respond to the above two posts...Khartoum is not as great a city nor as popular with tourists (in my opinion) as Addis Ababa and the other places I've mentioned in Ethiopia and then to the north, we'll have a city and a destination in Egypt; thus, there's no worry about the region not being represented. Johannesburg could be nixed, but it's the main gateway to SA and southern Africa in general and has no shortage of museums and other interesting things for tourists whereas (and I'm not terribly knowledgeable about SA) CT seems more of a friendly and beautiful place, but not nearly as much to do. I'll see what soem of the SA users have to say. Timbuktu and Agadez are interesting places indeed, but they are cities, after all, which is why I didn't mention them (although Axum is a city I suggested above as a destination). I thought about Zanzibar as well, but I thought of it as more of a region or (due to its population) city than a destination (my perception is that destinations are rural, non-cities), but that could work as well. As for Carthage vs. Leptis Magna, Carthage is more famous in history but is mostly short ruins on the ground whereas Leptis Magna (the WT article doesn't do it justice, check it out on Wikipedia) is far better preserved and has many structures (including a vast amphitheater) still intact as they were 2000 years it's a matter of fame/ease of access vs. quality. I'll go ahead and change to Valley of the Kings in the article. Skeleton coast doesn't seem to offer much, in my opinion, isn't it just a large expanse of desert with a few rusted shipwrecks? Our Madagascar ODs are non-existant? Do you mean the articles are simply non-existant, or the island has nothing to offer (for destinations)? Because if it's the former, I don't think having a poor/non-existant article should disqualify a destination from making the should be about the quality of the destination. (WT-en) AHeneen 07:22, 17 December 2009 (EST)
Because of their immense size, I would push for both Lagos and Kinshasa on the cities list, especially the former, which sees a ton of business travel. It's the biggest metropolis on the continent (or will be shortly). I'd take out Dakar and Luanda (definitely Luanda) in their place. If we have a better replacement, then I would support dropping Johannesburg for geographical spread, but I'm not sure we do. If we really want a Saharan city, it should be Bamako or Khartoum, but I'd rather see a Malian OD:
Dogon Country! We still don't have an article for Dogon Country (we do on the Russian version, though, and I'll gladly get it started to avoid having a red link on the continent page). It's definitely a top "other" destination in Africa, and I definitely think it's the best feature for the Saharan region (even if it's a bit out of the desert). I would definitely trade it for W NP.
Lalibela is more interesting than Axum, I'd say, for travel, but Axum is more important... I think that one's a coin flip. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 12:08, 17 December 2009 (EST)
On Madagascar, it is missing or empty articles I am refering to. Madagascar is so important and so different, some naturalists consider it a separate continent. Have a quick read here. Leptis Magna vs Carthage, fair comments. I just love Carthage so am probably biased :). Peter is spot on about Dogon Country. No article! How has that happened? --(WT-en) Burmesedays 12:46, 17 December 2009 (EST)
Alright, Dogon country sounds better than W National Park. I've got a nice guidebook to Mali (Bradt, 2006? edition) with some good info on the area, but I'll have to dig through some boxes of books to find it. In the meantime, there is an official tourism website for Dogon Country in English! As far as Lagos & Kinshasa go, Lagos is a major city, but there isn't much in the way of things to's mostly a transit hub and a place for businessmen (and recently more and more business is moving to Abuja) and oil workers en route to the Delta. I like Dakar as it's a major business AND tourist destination in western W. Africa and has tons of flights/connections to W. Africa (only Lagos has more connections). There's no need for a city in the Sahara as there aren't any major cities in the region. Bamako is only a base for flights/travelers to Mali's more famous cities and Dogon Country. Khartoum is big, but as the list is, there's 2 cities and 2 ODs in adjacent countries (Egypt, Ethiopia).
All that leaves one questionable city (in my opinion): Luanda. Kinshasa is a huge city, indeed. However, it is one of the most crime-ridden cities on the continent, pretty much the only tourist attraction is the falls on the Congo River, and business travellers to the city are mostly francophones. Luanda, on the other hand, is roughly comparable to a Dubai in Africa...oil revenue has led to a massive construction boom in the city and it is a growing business destination (for English-speakers, more so than Kinshasa). Tourism is limited due to the difficulty of getting a visa and the cost of hotels, but there are more tourist attractions than Kinshasa (mostly colonial structures like the fortress). If you'd take just 2 and a half minutes to watch this video, you might understand why I chose it. And the city has an impressive list of connections to Europe (London, Paris, Lisbon, Frankfurt),Brazil, Beijing, Dubai, and Delta had approval to begin service back in June from Atlanta (one of several US-African routes they canceled due to the economic crisis) and there's a weekly chartered flight for oil workers from Houston. I don't blame people for not knowing much about the city given the civil war just a decade ago, but things have drastically changed in the past 5-8 years and I think it deserves to represent central Africa. (WT-en) AHeneen 01:28, 18 December 2009 (EST)
I don't really like the idea of Lagos on the list. It has a high population, but I've only ever heard horror stories about it. Even the most adventurous and well-traveled people always report Lagos as one of the least safe and scariest cities they've visited. Combined with AHeneen's comments about their being nothing to do in the city, I just don't think it's really a "Top 9" city...
Oddly enough, I recently did research on Luanda and added a lot of the current "See" section info, and I also got the impression it was an "up-and-coming" destination. (WT-en) ChubbyWimbus 01:43, 18 December 2009 (EST)

So how does everyone feel about this list. :

Other Destinations
(WT-en) AHeneen 19:16, 19 December 2009 (EST)
I still think any cities list that excludes Lagos just looks incorrect, since it's such an important city, and because we're not just writing for sightseers (I have plenty of acquaintances who have been there for business/NGO/political work—can't say that for any of the other destinations save Cairo). But since no one seems to agree with me, please feel free to ignore that concern.
I'm leaning Aksum over Lalibela as it is, I believe, better known internationally. The same argument applies to Serengeti, rather than M'zab (regardless of how ridiculously cool the latter is). --(WT-en) Peter Talk 19:32, 19 December 2009 (EST)
And I'll add re: Lagos that the fact that it is both oft visited and dangerous/chaotic makes the guide all the more important—that is, travelers are really going to want some good advice and reading before going there. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 19:41, 19 December 2009 (EST)
I agree on both accounts (Aksum/Axum over Lalibela and Serengeti over M'Zab Valley), because they are definitely more well-known, very "African" destinations.
I do not dispute you that Lagos is important in Africa. It just doesn't seem touristy. If there is a push for it, I'd rather see Johannesburg out than Luanda, to maintain some diversity, even though Johannesburg probably receives more visitors in a year than Luanda gets in a decade...
I also destubbed Leptis Magna, but I gave it the city outline. It's ruins/archaelogical site, though. Do those get city templates or something else? (WT-en) ChubbyWimbus
I still think Lagos should stay out. One more thing I've thought of is that Dakar (which seems to be what Peter wants Lagos to replace?) is the only city from francophone Africa, a very important part of the continent, whereas Accra is similar to Lagos, in that it is English-speaking, has nearly as many flight connections, and probably has as many visitors (except they're largely tourists vs. businessmen), but it is far safer to visit. After adding the "Get in/by plane" section to the Africa article, I've realized that Johannesburg (along with Cairo) is the most connected city in terms of flights. You can fly just about anywhere from Jo-burg and once you factor in its size and the number of museums/shopping/things to do in the city, I'd rather see Cape Town axed (especially since there's three South African cities/ODs). (WT-en) AHeneen 04:10, 22 December 2009 (EST)
I think the small city template should be OK for Leptis Magna. Some other important archaeological sites use that template. See Borobudur and Prambanan for example. --(WT-en) Burmesedays 08:58, 22 December 2009 (EST)

Do we need these?[edit]

See here(WT-en) cacahuate talk 20:12, 22 December 2009 (EST)

"No go" list[edit]

I think that the Eritrea "no go" thing should be removed I have been three times no problems I have even been to the border no problems {{subst:|}}

Hello. While it is possible to visit Eritrea, in recent months, as far as I know, the government has tightened control and increased its anti-Western stance. I added it under the list of countries which should not be visited for "political and stability reasons"...while that wording is subjective and it is not dangerous, per se, to travel there, US and several other governments have warned of travel there and the vibe that I have from what I've read is that the political climate combined with the drought makes Eritrea not a good destination for travel right now. (WT-en) AHeneen 20:06, 26 December 2009 (EST)
Do we need to duplicate warnings here by country? I think this information is best suited for warningboxes on the country pages.... at the moment they aren´t even in sync anyhow.... Guinea on this page says ´´don´t go´´ yet there isn´t even a warning box on the country page. Eritrea has a much more appropriate warning box on it´s country page, yet here says to flat out not go. Either way, we don´t follow government warning practices and draw up ¨no go¨ policies, we just encourage people to excercise caution and point out any necessary risks :) – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 15:11, 29 December 2009 (EST)
I'll reword things to eliminate the "no-go" phrase, but I do think providing an overview of which countries are particularly dangerous is a good thing to have in the stay safe section. I've browsed and commented on several threads on the Thorn Tree forum where people look at Africa and try planning trips through fairly dangerous in particular wanted to drive overland through Algeria, Niger, Chad, CAR, DRC, & Uganda en route to SA. Just as a country article might list dangerous regions or a city article list dangerous parts of the city, I think the list I've added is useful and should stay. I'll find time to see if the warnings on this page are in line with those of the country pages. (WT-en) AHeneen 16:52, 29 December 2009 (EST)
I agree that it´s worth a mention, I just don´t think details are needed here.... I think a paragraph that says something like ¨A few countries may need special planning (or whatever) including x y and z, see the respective country pages for details, and plan you trip carefully if you plan to visit one of these¨.... or something that points out potential risk without trying to duplicate the details here.... then we don´t have 2 places with the same info that needs to be kept in sync – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 07:42, 31 December 2009 (EST)

I've redone this section. I only labeled Somalia & the CAR as countries that "should only be visited by experienced travellers who are very competent regarding the dangers that exist. For 99.999% of travellers, these areas should be considered no-go regions"...then mentioning exceptions. I also specifically discussed the DRC as it is well-known for its rebels and impenetrable jungle (and, of course, it's a big country in the middle of Africa). I also felt mentioning the problems in the central Sahara are worth mentioning. The rest were all grouped to mention a couple common problems. I liked a list better than this large block of text, but is it better? (WT-en) AHeneen 06:02, 17 January 2010 (EST)

Things are clearly hotting up again in Angola and maybe add the Cabinda region to the general problem areas. Great job with his. Well done. --(WT-en) Burmesedays 06:47, 17 January 2010 (EST)
I think it's better, good job :) – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 21:03, 18 January 2010 (EST)


Some of this was discussed above under "Rwanda & Burundi".

I have some issues with the current way Africa is divided into regions and think that a discussion should be made about this. Here are a few ideas:

  • There was a discussion a while ago on the Talk:Mozambique page that Mozambique should be moved to Southern Africa and it appears as though the move was agreed upon but wasn't made.
  • Rwanda & Burundi should be moved to East Africa as per the discussion above.
  • Zambia also belongs in Southern Africa as it is a)economically a part of Southern Africa, b}almost all tourist traffic come from people travelling through Southern Africa. c)a former British colony much like Southern Africa (and unlike, mostly French, Central Africa), d)best reached by road/flights from Southern Africa. Zambia has very little in common with Central Africa.
  • The islands of the Indian Ocean should be separated into their own region: Madagascar, Comoros, Mayotte, the Seychelles, Mauritius, & Reunion. These islands are similar geographically and culturally and differ quite a bit from East Africa. They mostly speak French-derived languages, are volcanic islands with lush vegetation, and most have a large influence of South Asian or Arab cultures.
  • Saharan Africa is not quite accurate as these regions compose as much of the Sahara as North Africa does, the name should be changed to Sahel—the name of the transitional landscape which characterizes much of the more-visited regions of these countries (Wikipedia). (WT-en) AHeneen 03:16, 5 January 2010 (EST)
I definitely support the first, second, third, and last points. In regards to the Indian Islands,I don't have any strong opinions, but the reasoning is sound. Above it was also mentioned to make Ethiopia, Djibouti, Eritrea, and Somalia a region (Horn of Africa), because they share similar culture, history, and the languages are Kushitic, as opposed to the Bantu languages of East Africa. Does this have support or has it been dropped? (WT-en) ChubbyWimbus 03:34, 5 January 2010 (EST)
I support moving Mozambique to Southern Africa, don't have an opinion on Zambia.
Rwanda & Burundi 100% should be in East Africa from a travelers perspective.
Not in support of breaking up East Africa, I don't think it's too large, and makes sense as a travel region.
Still thinking about the islands suggestion.... they don't bother me as part of east africa.... are they treated as a region? Do people often visit several of these islands from each other, or tend to travel to 1 of them only via south or east africa?
I think it's nice and all when areas that are similar in culture etc are able to make good travel regions, but it shouldn't be given too much weight when breaking up areas.... the primary focus should be on digestible and accessible travel regions that make sense for travelers.... languages, landscape, etc are all secondary. – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 10:42, 5 January 2010 (EST)
I brought up breaking off the Horn of Africa, but didn't mention it here because of reasons Cacahuate brings up...especially since I feel the Indian Ocean islands should be broken away from E.Africa and we needen't butcher the E.Africa region. Most people who visit the islands either visit a couple of them or fly to them from outside Africa. I don't think a lot of people fly to them from S/E Africa, the only reason may be that airfare costs might be cheaper to fly through Johannesburg rather than direct. You might compare it to the's a region of islands with limited connections between them, but they're quite simmilar in history and culture. Just my opinion. (WT-en) AHeneen 19:36, 5 January 2010 (EST)
I agree with all said here, but the Horn of Africa would be a region too small (only 4 countries), and would leave Kenya and Tanzania in a gap. I support 1, 2, 3 and 5 though, and 4 also seems like a good suggestion. --(WT-en) globe-trotter 21:43, 28 January 2010 (EST)

So there's no objections to suggestions except separating the Indian Ocean islands? I'll go ahead and make the changes, if someone can fix the maps. (WT-en) AHeneen 10:46, 29 January 2010 (EST)

My only issue is whether Saharan Africa should become the Sahel or Sahelian Africa. Any preference? (WT-en) AHeneen 10:52, 29 January 2010 (EST)
I have never even heard about Sahelian Africa... Sahel sounds better to me. --(WT-en) globe-trotter 11:06, 29 January 2010 (EST)
Either would be OK, but "the Shahel" is certainly more widely used. --(WT-en) Burmesedays 11:43, 29 January 2010 (EST)
Yes, The Sahel is more widely used, I just didn't know if the name should follow all the other regions as "___ Africa". I agree it sounds much better and I think "the" should be included. (WT-en) AHeneen 11:53, 29 January 2010 (EST)
I was unsure about Malawi before. Having updated the map, I am now sure it should not be in East Africa. Also on the islands, I also think they should be split into a separate region. If not, then I would strongly suggest Madagascar goes into Southern Africa.--(WT-en) Burmesedays 12:19, 29 January 2010 (EST)
The East Africa Wikipedia article says that Malawi is often included in Southern Africa. I think what we've done already is enough. There's 100 different ways to divide the continent into different regions. Staring at the map some more, geographically and culturally, Angola could fit in Southern Africa and Cameroon into Central Africa. In my opinion, Malawi could go in either region. From a traveller's point of view, I think most people pass through the northern half of the country between Zambia & Tanzania, although the largest cities are in the south. I do believe the islands need to be a separate region as they are substantially different from the rest of Africa. (WT-en) AHeneen 14:03, 29 January 2010 (EST)
Looking at the map now, it definitely shows Madagascar and the islands should form their own region. Also, Malawi looks weird, it should be in Southern Africa. --(WT-en) globe-trotter 21:40, 29 January 2010 (EST)
Southern Africa new map.png
I also think that Malawi should be in Southern Africa and Madagascar and the islands should have their own region. Malawi has plenty of transit links to Zambia and Mozambique and I've seen a few tours that do Zambia-Malawi-Mozambique (sadly, I don't have enough vacation time to do them). (WT-en) Shaund 21:57, 29 January 2010 (EST)
I'd still like to put focus on placing Malawi in Southern Africa, and also in placing the Indian Ocean Islands in their own region. Any more support before we update the map? --(WT-en) globe-trotter 14:17, 15 March 2010 (EDT)
In case folks have not seen it, the map reflecting the reassignment of Zambia and Mozambique looks like this. Surely Malawi has to be in Southern Africa? It looks very odd indeed.--(WT-en) Burmesedays 21:57, 17 March 2010 (EDT)

2011 discussion[edit]

With the addition of South Sudan, and its possible move to Central Africa (see Talk:South Sudan, I'll be updating the continent map. While I'm at it, should I move Malawi to Southern Africa? I haven't seen any objections yet. (WT-en) LtPowers 10:20, 9 July 2011 (EDT)


No one I know from Cameroon considers it a West African country. Unless there are objections, I would like to propose moving it to Central Africa. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 16:39, 20 December 2011 (EST)

I thought this may have been discussed before, but couldn't find any discussions. I agree 100% that it's belongs with Central Africa. Thinking of Central Africa, you recently added to West Africa: "The most densely populated area of Africa, it is both the continent's most difficult place for travel and potentially its most rewarding." While I haven't been to either region, I'm fairly certain Central Africa is much more difficult to travel around...only Cameroon & Gabon seem to have decent roads (compare to the Congos & CAR!) vs. Cote d'Ivoire, Liberia, & Sierra Leone seem to be the only West African countries that are terribly difficult to get around.(WT-en) AHeneen 19:48, 20 December 2011 (EST)
Fair point. I think I was more thinking of disease and hassle! --(WT-en) Peter Talk 13:19, 24 December 2011 (EST)
*bump* An anonymous user just moved Cameroon to Central, but to keep things in sync with the map I reverted (for now). If one of the mapmakers could revisit this at a convenient time there seems to be a consensus to update. -- Ryan • (talk) • 05:34, 15 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'll do this now before I forget. --Peter Talk 05:44, 15 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And done. --Peter Talk 05:51, 15 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Lead image[edit]

Africa satellite orthographic.jpg

I really liked the satellite image of Africa as the lead. Far too many people think of Africa as homogeneous—home to animals and poor people—and I think the satellite image (at 400px) emphasized the size of the continent as well as the diverse landscapes as can be seen by the contrasting green of jungles, green-yellow of savannas, and the white-yellow of the deserts. The giraffe is nice and safaris and animals are a main draw for tourists, but I feel it only reinforces the African stereotype. There's not enough room in the Geography section and I think this is a beautiful image. What you you all think? (WT-en) AHeneen 22:12, 13 January 2010 (EST)

I kind of like the giraffe picture better. I feel like images like that get people excited and interested in travel more than the satellite image. Also, since we already have a Wikivoyage map of Africa, it doesn't seem necessary. I agree that the satellite image is quite nice, but I'm not sure that I like it as the lead picture. If the giraffe image is not preferred though, I am not opposed to experimenting with other photos; I just prefer travel photos, I guess. (WT-en) ChubbyWimbus 23:08, 13 January 2010 (EST)
I liked the satellite image, but I don't think it's the best choice to open a travel guide on Africa, it was feeling more encyclopedic.... I'm not overly attached to the giraffe pic that I posted, but I think it should be a travel image too.... in fact I think that images should change from time to time anyway and keep it fresh, especially those lead images – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 12:01, 14 January 2010 (EST)
I'm in agreement that a sat pic isn't ideal, since the lead image exists primarily to get readers excited about the trip (unless the place is not fun in the least, in which case an image highlighting why not to go there might be appropriate).
On the topic of photos, though, I'm a huge Mali booster—it might be worth stealing an image from Dogon Country, Timbuktu, or Djenné for the main Africa article. I just filled up all three with pretty high quality ones. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 15:26, 14 January 2010 (EST)

Book Links[edit]

I removed several book links today, but that was reverted (along with re-adding several tour operators) with the comment ".sorry, but there is such a dearth of info that these books are VERY valuable to travellers & the overland trucks cover the continent...thus they are here". The Project:External links policy is pretty explicit:

"We should avoid links to other travel guides, to ensure we have travel information in Wikivoyage, not linked from Wikivoyage. This is an incentive issue; if we have lots of links to other travel guides, we lose the impetus to create our own."

By my reading, there is no way that we should be including links to other travel guides, even in book form, unless it's something that is out of scope for Wikivoyage. Similarly, policy has always been that tour operators are not included at the continent level, and I don't see that the tour operators that were re-added merit special consideration. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 14:27, 18 February 2010 (EST)

Have to agree with Ryan on both counts, as policy clearly prohibits the content that he removed. We are here to build our own travel guide, not to direct readers to other guides. If the Bradt guide is a great source of information, it may be worthwhile to mention that on the talk page for contributors looking to research information for the purpose of improving our guides, but it is clearly against policy to send readers away from the site for things we could provide here.
Tours are categorically prohibited by policy from any section other than "Do" unless they are requisite to visiting a destination. While it may be difficult to fulfill the substance provided by these operators on one's own, it is possible, and it is our job to help provide guidance. The fact that our guides are not yet well developed is not a good reason to direct readers (and potential contributors) elsewhere—if that was our policy, none of our guides would have ever developed into something useful. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 13:43, 19 February 2010 (EST)
Per the lack of further discussion, and since this seems to be an obvious conflict with existing policies, I've re-removed the content in question. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 11:44, 21 February 2010 (EST)

Africa by train[edit]

Because of my contribution on Angola's trains, I thought that the website Railways Africa [1] would be something to look at for progress on Africa's trains (and potential guide fodder). --(WT-en) CurvyEthyl 23:40, 23 April 2011 (EDT)

South Sudan Location[edit]

Shouldn't it be in the "Central Africa" region from now on ? (WT-en) WindowsNT 05:53, 9 July 2011 (EDT)

That's what we're discussing on Talk:South Sudan. (WT-en) LtPowers 09:57, 9 July 2011 (EDT)

Map update[edit]

I've moved South Sudan to Central Africa and Malawi to Southern Africa. I've updated the English and French maps of Africa. The Russian map was a little trickier since their map colors don't match the English and French. And the Portuguese map is harder still since that language isn't included in the SVG. The French map may now be out of sync with the French region breakdown; not sure. (WT-en) LtPowers 20:47, 10 July 2011 (EDT)

I have updated the en Southern Africa Region Map and East Africa Region Map. Will not touch the other language versions as they may not make the region changes. --(WT-en) Burmesedays 22:15, 10 July 2011 (EDT)
I've updated the French maps with South Sudan and Malawi move. Thanks (WT-en) LtPowers and (WT-en) Burmesedays for your work on this! (WT-en) Joelf 19:46, 6 August 2011 (EDT)

Number of countries[edit]

The summary on Africa starts off indicating that there are 55 countries, yet a few lines later, there is a reference to only 54 countries -- Likely due to the addition of South Sudan. —The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs)

Source of material?[edit]

There is a children's video site run by a charity which has twenty or thirty hours of video clips shot by children in twenty different Africa countries. Some of them (the Mandela centre in South Africa, the genocide museum in Rwanda, big game in Kenya) give a nice insight into what the countries are really like for tourists. Aside using it for reference or for external links you could probably persuade the charity to let you have a few under a CC licence which would liven up this website a lot. -- 04:56, 23 December 2011 (EST)


Don't want to start an edit war, since someone marked this edit as patrolled, but I think the original wording is best. The anonymous user remarked: replaced bushmeat with "exotic treats," don't think suggesting poached monkey as something you should seriously try is within the spirit of Wiki. "Poached" means its illegal, but most "bushmeat" is NOT illegally caught and its a common aspect of local cuisine in Central Africa (Congos, Gabon, Cameroon). Exotic treats is pretty generic and I think that "snack on monkey or python "bushmeat"" fits better with the evocative language used in the opening paragraph. A New York Times blog about a survey of rural Gabonese families says: "A survey of 1,219 households in 121 villages revealed that...almost 100 percent of families consumed bush meat during a 12-day survey period, and about 95 percent of consumption was limited to 20 species...Among those 20 species, we didn’t see the endangered ones that we were worried about...The most common animals included various duikers, or forest antelope; porcupines; wild hogs; and monkeys." And from the BBC: "bushmeat provides up to 80% of protein and fat needed in rural diets." I think its safe to keep the bushmeat remark since it refers to the fairly common practice of eating wild animals, not specifically endangered ones! If you'd like some recipes, check out the Congo Cookbook. Anyone else agree to revert this edit? (WT-en) AHeneen 22:01, 1 April 2012 (EDT)

Wait, why are we encouraging tourists to visit Africa to eat bushmeat? --(WT-en) Peter Talk 13:49, 2 April 2012 (EDT)
I patrolled the edit because it was not obviously vandalism (intentional or otherwise), which is all patrolling is supposed to check for. Concerns over the accuracy or appropriateness of an edit should be handled through the normal editing process, not via edit patrol. (WT-en) LtPowers 21:02, 2 April 2012 (EDT)
Peter, why not? Is it not part of the culinary experience? I'm not sure why I was thinking patrolled=approved, oops. Would either of you be ok with reverting to the original? (WT-en) AHeneen 23:03, 2 April 2012 (EDT)
The volume of the trade in and hunting of bushmeat (i.e., non-regulated game meat) makes it really hard for any regulatory body to monitor what is being killed, and to distinguish poaching of endangered animals from less harmful poaching. African governments, as well as virtually any travel guides I've read, discourage the practice—even though tourists are not the ones really making an impact. It's akin to walking around a jungle filled with endangered flora and picking plants. Unless you are a botanist, you risk doing damage to the ecosystem, and you're probably violating the state's regulations anyway. Africa offers an awful lot of fun culinary adventures with less moral baggage. I'd rather we recommend the delights of street foods like boiled eggs slathered with onion and chili passed off the heads of little girls, stacks of charred lizard kabobs wrapped in paper, steaming, spicy vegetable stews scooped up with grain pastes sticking to your fingers, etc.. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 03:56, 3 April 2012 (EDT)